A motive for the Memorial Day killings has not been discussed publicly

By Chris Harris
June 10, 2021 11:45 AM
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Ja’tyri Brown
Credit: Facebook

Authorities are searching for the teen brothers allegedly behind a deadly Memorial Day shooting at a pool party in Baton Rouge, La., that claimed the life of an 18-month-old girl.

Ja'Tyri "JT" Brown was killed by gunfire in the fatal May 31 incident, along with Dwayne Dunn, Jr., 17, and Reginald Thomas, 20, PEOPLE confirms.

According to police, Dunn and Thomas were shot by the two suspects following a fight at the party. Police allege the shooting was planned, though a motive has not been publicly discussed.

Ja'Tyri was struck by a stray bullet.

During a press conference Tuesday, Baton Rouge Police announced they had arrested a 15-year-old suspect for his alleged connection to the murders, as well as two adults, including the 36-year-old mother of the two suspected gunmen.

Latoya Coleman - the mother of 19-year-old David Williams and a second juvenile suspect who authorities believe fled to Texas - has been charged with two counts as an accessory after the fact to first-degree murder.

Investigators allege that Coleman helped Williams and her other son escape the area.

According to police, one of the suspects called Coleman right after the shooting and explained the situation.

Police allege Coleman admitted to helping the teen suspects during an interview with police on June 8.

In addition to Coleman, detectives have arrested Christopher Stovall, 23, as a principal to three counts of first-degree murder.

Darrell Edwards, 15, was also arrested Tuesday as a principal to three counts of first-degree murder. He was also charged with illegal use of a weapon.

It is alleged that Stovall and Edwards knew about the planned shooting in advance, and afterwards, helped Williams and his brother evade arrest.

Investigators claim to have surveillance footage of the shooting that shows the two brothers fleeing the scene.

At the press conference Tuesday, Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul said more arrests were in the works, adding that as many as six people in total face charges.

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It was unclear Thursday if any of the defendants had entered pleas or were represented by lawyers who could speak on their behalf.

Relatives spoke to WBRZ, telling the station the little girl, known affectionately as "JT," died in her father's arms.

"My wife, we're grieving ... my son is distraught," George Provost, the toddler's grandfather, told WBRZ. "My whole family is torn apart."

A GoFundMe campaign is underway to help cover JT's funeral costs.